Can Tortoises Climb Stairs, Trees, Fences & Ramps?

The first thing that comes to mind when we think of tortoises is that they move slowly. Does that quality inhibit them from doing certain actions such as climbing?

The quick answer would be no, tortoises are actually capable of climbing despite being slow animals. However, this isn’t always safe for them as they are exposing themselves to falling off somewhere high, such as trees or stairs.

There are reasons why a tortoise would be climbing in the first place, stick around to find out why.

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Can A Tortoise Climb?

Yes, a tortoise can climb.

There are lots of misconceptions surrounding this particular question regarding tortoises. First of all, tortoises are known to be slow animals, second, they don’t really look like the type of animal that would just suddenly decide to climb onto something.

When we think about tortoises, our mind is fixed on the idea that tortoises only walk on land and that’s about it. Little do we know that tortoises are fully capable of climbing on various surfaces, even vertical ones.

Tortoises don’t just climb onto things randomly, they do it for a reason. The primary reason would be boredom, the next would be lack of space.

Tortoises don’t need much physical activity to become healthy animals, so owners don’t have to play with them or shower them with toys, which is what dog owners do to their furry friends.

Owners just have to provide something that would stimulate their tortoises to prevent them from being bored such as logs, rocks, hiding places, dishes where they can bathe in, and others.

Another thing for owners to look out for is their enclosure. If the tortoises are being kept outdoors in an enclosure, make sure that they have enough space to roam around and dig into.

If by any chance their enclosure is small, this would trigger them into climbing out in order to escape their tiny space.

Do Tortoises Like To Climb?

Tortoises like to climb because this enables them to roam around and get familiar with their environment.

Like all other animals, tortoises get bored, especially if they don’t have anything in their enclosure to keep them stimulated and if their space is cramped.

To combat this, tortoises will surely climb on surfaces to be able to explore the area outside of their enclosure. In turn, tortoises get stimulated because they get to see something new because they have successfully escaped their small area.

This is a major cause for concern because owners would obviously lose their pet tortoise. Luckily there’s an easy solution for this.

Owners can turn their tortoise’s enclosure into something fun and enjoyable so that boredom won’t even cross their pet’s minds.

How Do I Improve The Enclosure Of My Tortoise?

First things first, owners must have a decent amount of space for the enclosure that would cater to the size of their tortoise.

So naturally, a juvenile tortoise wouldn’t need that big of an area whereas bigger tortoises would need a larger space to accommodate their size.

Here are the other steps in improving the enclosure of a tortoise:

  • Put logs or rocks that your tortoise can climb on, it’s important to remember that tortoises shouldn’t be given a surface that’s too high for them to climb onto because this would increase the chances of them falling down and tipping over.
  • Small, medium, and large-sized branches will work well in an enclosure.
  • If the owner has decided to put rocks inside the enclosure, they have to make sure that the rocks are stable, secure, and not wobbly.
  • For a cheaper alternative, owners can opt for (safe) plastic containers or pots for the tortoises to play around in, hide in, and climb on.
  • Provide lots of hiding spots for the tortoise by making use of cardboard or plastic boxes.
  • Have some good quality dirt for the tortoises to dig on as digging stimulates them.

Notice that each and every one of these things mimic the environment that you would see in the wild? That’s because our goal is to make them feel as if they’re actually in the wild. It gives them an authentic feel of not being separated from their natural habitat.

Are Tortoises Good Climbers?

Tortoises are actually excellent climbers. They’re able to climb up on vertical surfaces, provided that these are not flat surfaces but have something their legs can step on such as mesh.

They can climb on surfaces like trees, mesh fences, and stairs.

How High Can Tortoises Climb?

Tortoises can climb as high as a medium-sized tree or maybe even more in rare cases.

As long as tortoises have enough support, they can very well climb high areas.

Are Tortoises Supposed To Climb?

Tortoises aren’t supposed to climb if we’re talking about high places since this puts them at risk of falling down and tipping over.

But it’s safe to say that tortoises can climb if the height of the surface they’re climbing onto isn’t that high to begin with.

Do Russian Tortoises Like To Climb?

Russian tortoises are considered to be the kind of tortoise that loves to climb.

Compared to other tortoises, the Russian Tortoise is fond of climbing onto things. The best way to keep this kind of tortoise entertained is to provide an enclosure with things it can climb on such as a heap of rocks and branches.

Why Do Tortoises Climb?

Tortoises climb due to lack of stimulation, their enclosure is small, and it’s in their instincts as animals.

Can Tortoises Climb Walls?

If the walls in question are flat, then no, they can’t climb on them. However, if the wall is made out of mesh, then they can climb on those.

It would be impossible for tortoises to climb up on flat-surfaced walls since their claws will have nothing to grip on.

Why Does My Tortoise Try To Climb The Wall?

Tortoises will try to climb walls because they want to explore their surroundings.

It’s also a possibility that the tortoise is not stimulated enough which is why it’s trying to climb walls. There are also other factors as to why they climb walls such as a cramped enclosure.

How Do You Keep Tortoises From Climbing Walls?

Keep tortoises from climbing walls by providing enough space in their enclosure, putting up hiding spots within the enclosure as well as climbing spots.

Owners don’t necessarily have to splurge on expensive climbing toys just to have them because they can do a DIY on those.

Cheap alternatives such as plastic containers and clay pots make great hiding and climbing toys, just make sure that the plastic container is made out of safe plastic.

Can Tortoises Climb Trees?

Yes, tortoises can climb trees.

Some people are actually surprised about this fact since these animals are usually seen roaming around in land rather than climbing up trees.

Tortoises have sharp claws that enable them to climb trees, this is also another way for them to reach for fruits in the wild.

Can A Tortoise Climb Stairs?

Yes, a tortoise can climb stairs. If the tortoise is small, they may have difficulty in climbing but if they’re big, then they can easily climb a flight of stairs.

When they climb stairs, it’s not quick which is to be expected but they actually do a pretty good job at climbing stairs.

Can Tortoises Climb Fences?

Yes, tortoises can climb fences.

If the fences happen to be made out of mesh or any type of material that a tortoise’s claws can grip on, then they will be able to climb that.

Can Tortoises Climb Ramps?

Yes, tortoises can climb ramps.

These aren’t too steep for tortoises so they can easily climb on them. However, owners should watch out for ramps that are steep because the tortoise might tip over and land on its shell.

Why Does My Tortoise Climb So Much?

The reason why your tortoise climbs so much would probably be because of its enclosure being too plain or cramped.

Why Does My Tortoise Keep Trying To Climb Out?

Your tortoise keeps trying to climb out probably because it’s bored of its enclosure and doesn’t receive too much stimulation from it.

Also, it’s inherent in a tortoise’s nature to explore its surroundings which is why it climbs out.

Climbing Toys For Tortoises

If owners don’t have the luxury of time to build their own climbing toys for their tortoises, then they can go to amazon and purchase the following products we will be showing below.

1. Tortoise Climbing Ramp

2. Basking Platform

3. Ledge Hiding Spot

Is It A Good Idea To Allow Tortoises To Climb?

It’s a good idea to let tortoises climb only if the surface they’re going to climb on is not that high.

By providing climbing toys to tortoises, this would help them stay healthy and stimulated. It would also reduce the chances of them climbing onto high places such as trees and fences.